Office of the CIO

Office of the CIO and Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services)
Office of the CIO and Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services)

Technology and Operations Road Maps 

Executive Summary

This plan introduces technology architecture and initiatives for ITS resources such as systems, networks, facilities, applications, identity and security. It sets goals for planning and operational activities over the next 3 to 5 years as a road map for IT Infrastructure and Operations. The objective is the long-term alignment of IT Infrastructure and Operations activities with the rest of the university and to move ITS further towards being a trusted partner to the academic and business units by increasing the value and competitiveness of its services and activities.  

ITS is a service organization and its customers are the academic, research, and administrative segments of the university population. Our key areas of focus over the next 3 to five years are: compliance and controls; integrating security into all aspects of infrastructure operations and services; network; identity; ensuring facilities can meet the demands of campus. We continue to enhance ITS’ resource availability (data centres, systems, applications, and networks) and implementing processes for continuous and integrated monitoring, logging, reporting and incidence response.   We have worked with campus stakeholders to develop a roadmap to transition voice communication, and once funding is in place we will transition to VOIP technology on campus.  Uploading additional services to the private and public clouds will also be actively investigated.

With a 3 to 5 years horizon, this plan requires a yearly update and refocus to continually adjust for changes in business requirements and technology and to maintain its currency. 

Introduction

ITS initiatives are typically enabled by an enterprise IT strategy driven by academic, research, and administrative institutional plans and policies. Each of these plans and policies would provide guidance, stakeholder buy-in, and deeper IT integration with administrative and academic systems and processes on campus. Currently this is not the case as most ITS plans are reactive and are driven by the need to solve or avoid problems. This is due mainly to three reasons; shortage of senior ITS staff who can devote more of their time to long term planning as opposed to operational tasks, the absence of a process to translate institutional plans to an IT enterprise architecture, and the distributed nature of IT functions across campus necessitated by the needs of academic and research excellence.

Business Requirements

For this plan, we used IT staff knowledge of the business and included feedback we have received for informal consultation sessions with numerous departmental and faculty representatives.

The following high level requirements have already been identified: 

  • Support teaching and learning through effective IT tools, spaces and support
  • Enable the research enterprise through providing and supporting research computing
  • Foster efficiencies for campus staff
  • Provide strategic technology direction
  • Develop an effective communication and collaboration mechanism 

This plan translates the service requirements and technology leadership into IT operational specifications to guide the design, management, and operations of systems, networks, applications, staff competencies, and related operational policies and procedures. This includes: 

  • Infrastructure Monitoring: availability, reliability, monitoring, logging and security
  • Operations and Support: procedures for support, Response time, Notifications, Escalation, Change management, incidence management
  • Security management: planning, reporting and handling
  • Capacity and Performance management
  • Facilities management
  • Outsourcing, vendor management and cloud computing
  • Technology planning

Scope

The remainder of this document focuses on operational planning as it relates to IT infrastructure including systems, security, networks, identity, equipment facilities, and the enterprise level applications.

Each of the plans addresses a particular operational or planning concern that affects ITS’ leadership and service delivery and usefulness to users on campus. Implementing these plans will increase Queen’s IT maturity level by making ITS a more proactive organization and position it for further development as a client focused competitive business unit well aligned with the academic and administrative goals of the university.

The identified plans range from technology development, to design changes, new infrastructure, new tools and applications, and new or modified procedures and policies.

Listed here are “thoughts and ideas” that need to be reshaped into a uniform and clear format. Costs and time frames will be finalized as more input comes in from the IT management team and staff.